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July 5, 2017

Vitiligo Model Winnie Harlow Digitally Painted In Silver and Gold

The following artwork was created of the vitiligo model Winnie Harlow in silver & gold. The digital artwork is part of an art illustration in an ongoing project called the Royalty Art series.

Finding Great Photo References of Model Winnie Harlow

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow in silver & gold

Winnie Harlow is remarkably beautiful. In an interview with Jamaica's The Gleaner, she mentioned how she was a victim of bullying growing up as a child because of her skin de-pigmentation. I can't even begin to imagine what she must have felt growing up being called art sort of names. Insecurity and the negativity almost led her to commit suicide.

The story you can image was not so sweet in the beginning. Yet, through all of what she went through she has become one of the most recognized beauties in the world. Her followers over well over 2 million combined for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. A number I am sure will continue to grow.

This is one of the main reasons I chose to illustrate her out of anyone else as a part of my Royalty Art series. She is a vitiligo model who represents overcoming adversity, hope, diversity, confidence, and beauty.

Now when I had the vision of creating the illustration of her I did not process how much work it would be. However, I figured it would take quite some time to finish the artwork.

To my surprise, it actually didn't take me as long as it took to paint the Rihanna art illustration, which took 56 hours and some minutes to complete.

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow

Project Duration: 54 hours

Yes, just two hours short of matching the amount of time it took me to create the queen Riri piece. Taking the time for work on the details of the paintings that I create is very important to me. The details make the art I create distinctively unique. 

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow

When I decided how that I was going to create the artwork, I figured that I would need a lot of reference images to illustrate this beauty to the detail. I used several images as a source of reference in order to get her facial features as accurate as I could.

The most challenging part of making the art illustration of Winnie Harlow was making her look metallic. The way the light reflected off of her face, body and form were all very important to me.

I decided with making the light source come from the top right of the frame to cast the shadows on the figure creating some contrast.  

Preliminary Sketch & Outline of the Winnie Harlow Illustration

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow

Drawing the composition was the next thing that I did after deciding on a direction of where the light source for the painting would come from. Unlike the abstract line drawings that I often compose in a shorter amount of time with no pre-planing, I had to do a thumbnail sketch of the composition of this illustration.

Of course, even though I sketched how I planned for everything to be I changed a lot of it as I started working on the artwork.

The Model's Skin & Form

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow in silver & gold

Her form was as much important as it was to accurately outline her skin's vitiligo shapes. Every detail mattered in the creative process of this artwork for me because I did not want to cheat myself and truly wanted to add value to the illustration.

The artwork was published on AFROPUNK, where they mentioned my meticulous attention to detail for this piece as "perfecting his craft".

I thought it was awesome, but I just have the tendency to lock onto an artwork and give it my full attention from the beginning to the end.

What Is Vitiligo?

According to The American Academy of Dermatology is it a skin condition often forms on both sides of a person's body. Vitiligo causes the skin to lose the amount of dark brown to black pigments creating patches of lighter skin.

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow in silver & gold

Envisioning The Vitiligo Model In Silver & Gold

The idea of making her in silver and gold brought a challenge to me because I had never illustrated someone in silver before. I looked at various metallic images to see how lighting hit shapes and formed reflections. One of the references that helped me the most were images I found of chrome objects.

Creating The Ultimate Vitiligo Model Illustration

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow in silver & gold

Although chrome is a lot more reflective than silver naturally is, it was perfect in helping me realize how I needed to curve the light and shadow around her face and body as I worked on the digital painting.

Creating the artwork I continued to think to myself "How can I push this piece further than the others?" I figured it out, after the creative direction of the silver and gold ski, I thought of including depth through the use of 3-Dimensional gold shapes around her.

Adding Perspective & 3Dimensional Elements

The use of 2-point perspective was the first time applied to any of the pieces from the Royalty Art series.

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow in silver & gold
The Vitiligo Model Winnie Harlow Painted In Silver & Gold

Winnie Harlow is perfectly imperfect. In a world where having an even skin tone and completely uninformed skin color is the norm, she is truly different and stands out like a sore thumb.

Yet, with beauty so remarkable she is truly perfect because she represents so much and her value is beyond what any person brand could pay for.

The Unique Art Illustration From The Royalty Series

This illustration is a unique one visually in the series I believe I created in 2016. How many pieces will I create until I stop? I am uncertain.

Winnie Harlow Represents Hope & Confidence

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow

I believe creating this illustration of Winnie Harlow truly represents how perfect one’s imperfections can be. In a world where having one skin color is considered the norm; she has become a star who has brought confidence to a lot of individuals that may have been shy about their vitiligo.

She is more than a model, she represents a shift in society. Knowing this I wanted to make this artwork unique among the 11 pieces and to make it stand apart.

Harlow herself is a natural work of art. It is my belief she represents art in a way and she is the perfect model. Creating her in silver and gold was purposely done to show that we are more valuable than anyone could ever afford or imagine.

The Royalty Art Series

As human beings, we all have a greater purpose for our lives. Some of us never come to realize what that purpose is. During the Summer of 2016, I was inspired to create an art series that would be different than what most art critics and followers are used to seeing.

Of course with all of the many forms of art that have been developed over the years, it’s highly difficult to do something visually through art that people would consider being purely original. This pushed me to create the Royalty Art series.

Each piece is significant to the person represented in the artwork. The newest addition to the series is a silver and gold illustration of model Winnie Harlow.

vitiligo model Winnie Harlow
vitiligo model Winnie Harlow
vitiligo model Winnie Harlow

Message and Symbolism Within The Vitiligo Model Illustration

The idea of Symbolism is represented in all of the art pieces from the series. Each piece is specific to each individual the artworks are created for and based on. Winnow Harlow is a Leo and I will mention later how I turned the direction again with this piece to set it apart from the other illustrations.

The Two Fish & The Flower

Yes, I included blind fish in the piece. Fish with no eyes. Thes two fish represent the individuals that never saw who she was going to become and failed to see the greatness in her. The flower is another representation of beauty.

Tiny Details In The Vitiligo Model Art Illustration Make A Difference In The Completion of The Piece

With the melanin culture and movement that has transpired, I thought I would take the approach of including some very tribal elements to the piece. I composed two different ancestral masks to include in the art illustration's composition.

I've learned it's always good to draw shapes or images on paper and scan them to work from because there is something special about doing things naturally first.

I learned from an artist a while back that when you draw a shape, subject or figure in pencil or pen and then work on it digitally it makes the digital artwork even more authentic. My guess is that it is because drawing digitally with either look unnatural and slightly off or it will look too perfect.

Having slight imperfections make the artwork look more natural.

The Sketches & Rough Drawings


Each mask took roughly 2 hours to digitally paint. These two elements in the artwork also represent the diversity that Winnie Harlow also represents. Some could say something as silly as "she is neither white or black". Truly, she does not need to be classified. The only classification or label I would put on her would be "beauty".

The Two Masks
The Two Masks
The Two Masks

The Guardian of The Vitiligo Model Silver & Gold Art Illustration

Next, in the illustration I decided I wanted to include an animal; Although Winnie Harlow is a Leo, I wanted to avoid including a lion in the art piece because I've already included a lion in the series. So, to stretch my imagination I decided to illustrate a bird instead of a lion in the artwork.

In the sketch seen above of the bird I had it looking in the opposite direction and with a different look. As I created the artwork things changed and I made revisions in order to bring it closer to what I envisioned in my mind.

The Multi-Colored Bird

The Multi-Colored Bird

The color of the bird's feathers and hair I wanted to be multi-colored without taking attention away from Winnie Harlow.

The fact that the bird was so close to her, I wanted to downplay how much it pulled away from her because I already have so many other elements in the overall illustration.

Beauty of Vitiligo Model Winnie Harlow

On the 5th of November in 2016, Winnie Harlow liked one of the cropped Instagram posts I made of the illustration on my Instagram profile. This made my day complete.

Below is the complete look and outcome of the illustration with all of the elements and visual details that went into it.

The Complete Winnie Harlow Digital Painting

The Multi-Colored Bird
The Winnie Harlow Silver & Gold Art Illustration From Royalty Series

To Read more about the series click on the image below and it will open a new window.

Digital Paintings

Royalty. That is the title. That is the command being the art series that I began working on mid-way through 2016. Each art piece from the series takes 22-56 hours of digital painting and drawing.

The Winnie Harlow art illustration is the 11th piece from the series and the 12th piece I am working on will certainly be another very interesting piece when published.

Purchase The Winnie Harlow Art Illustration Today

Digital Paintings
Art on Pillows

If you've enjoyed the artwork and post please support the illustration series by ordering a framed print today. If you would rather order something more applicable.

The artwork can also be printed on a throw pillow, shower curtain, and phone cases. All of my artworks are available on Fine Art America and Pixels.

The artwork will work best in an environment that has one or combination of these colors.

The Silver & Gold Winnie Harlow Shower Curtain

Lately, I've come across more people that would rather buy a shower curtain and pillow of my artwork instead of actual prints.

Shower Curtain

Which do you prefer? Leave a comment below.

Accepting Commission Work

If you are interested in commissioning an artwork send me an email at info[at]kenalsworld.com. The price range for something in this style range from $1,000-$3,000. The artworks full license and ownership would be yours to keep.

However, I also do digital as well as pencil drawing portraits, which range from $200-$500 for an 11x14 or 9x12 artwork.

Thank you for visiting the website!


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Kenalsworld is a source for quality art and design services provided by me, Kenal Louis. It is also an online presence that showcases the best talents I discover, my art, the art of marketing art and more.

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